Welcome to the first of my series of honeymoon recap posts! As you know, Matt and I spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica for our honeymoon (click link for the overall highlights/general recap) in December, returning just before Christmas. It was wonderful! I took about a million photos and I’m excited to share some of the highlights of the trip with you. :)
First up – El Silencio Lodge! This was the very first place we stayed when we arrived in Costa Rica. El Silencio is situated up in the cloud forest about 1.5 hours from San Jose, where we flew in. It’s as high up as Denver – brrr!
As I wrote in the overall highlights post, El Silencio was wonderful. The type of place where everyone learned your name and the staff were ready to drop everything to help you out or show you something cool. It was so quiet and relaxing there, too. The perfect way to start our honeymoon! They also have a gorgeous spa set right in the forest. We got a couple’s massage there one of the afternoons and it was amazing!
The property was gorgeous – very rugged with beautiful scenery. We stayed in a cute little cabin a short walk from the main lodge.
Here’s the view from the front porch on a sunny day (the sun was RARE in this area but we did get a little!):
We had our own private outdoor hot tub attached to the cabin, which was really awesome especially since the weather was pretty cool and cloudy in this area. On our last night, we walked back from dinner and found that the nighttime maids had set up candles all around the hot tub for us. So romantic!
One of the highlights at El Silencio was the food! We paid for an all-inclusive deal, so our breakfast, lunch, and dinner were included in our room rate (only alcohol was extra). Their dining room was stunning – loved the huge windows.
Here are pictures of a couple of the meals we had there. Everything was really good – fresh and with a focus on organic and local.
I wish I’d gotten more photos of dinners but I was too focused on enjoying the company. :)
Another big highlights at El Silencio was that they were only steps away from a bunch of really pretty rainforest hiking trails. On our first morning, Matt and I joined a group for an exploratory hike, led by one of the El Silencio staff members.
Before the hike, they showed us their chicken coop! The chickens aren’t used for meat, just for eggs, and are allowed to roam around freely in this pen. Nice life!
We got to feed them. :)
After the chickens, we checked out their organic garden. Impressive – I want this in my backyard! And by backyard I mean… apartment balcony? Hmph.
They also have a trout farm on the property!
I love how earth friendly this place was. We even got to plant a tree on our last day there. :) I hope someday we’ll go back again and see how it’s grown!
Anyway – after the garden visit, it was on to the hike! It was really rainy out, but the scenery was beautiful and our guide showed us all sorts of cool plants and flowers along the way, so we didn’t mind. :) That’s what raincoats are for, right?
They even had walking sticks at the main lodge for us to use!
The best part of the hike was hands down the beautiful waterfalls.
The grand finale waterfall:
On our second morning at El Silencio, Matt and I awoke to this:
Stunning! We decided after breakfast to explore some more of the hiking trails on the property, this time on our own.
Matt practicing his gymnastics skills:
We ended up at the same huge waterfall from the day before. What a beauty!
But this time, we decided to be brave and swim in it! There was an El Silencio guide and another couple there at the waterfall when we arrived, and the guide offered to get pictures of us swimming. He also said we were crazy and that the water was really, really cold. :)
Matt went in first:
And then I followed!
Let me tell you – I have never, EVER felt water that cold before. It was so cold that when it reached my torso it took my breath away!
We were only in the water for a few minutes before we hightailed it out, triumphant and shivering. Worth it! :)
I’ll be back later today with one more El Silencio highlight before moving on to the rest of the trip – a “cultural tour” that involved moonshine, getting to make our own corn tortillas and eating with a local family!